Royals Midseason Grades – Starting Rotation

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edinson Volquez and his peak stuff has been the best Royals starting pitcher according to fWAR (1.3), and it’s not all that close, despite a spiked ERA. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

Edinson Volquez : C

Volquez’s grade would likely be higher if it weren’t for that one horrendous 6/24 start against Houston, in which he gave up 11 ER in just one inning.

Obviously this is hypothetical and impossible, but if you remove that one start from his resume, his 2016 ERA drops from 4.80 to 3.81. We see that outlying start reflected in Volquez’s 4.14 FIP, which is good for the highest mark among Royals starters not named Danny Duffy.

Alongside his FIP, Volquez has seen a small bump in K/9 and LOB%, as well as being on pace for back-to-back 200 inning seasons.

For the most part, he has actually been virtually the same pitcher in 2016 that he was in 2015, with him on pace for the same number of starts (34), fWAR (2.6), and strikeouts (154 in 2015 to 155 in 2016).

The biggest difference being that June 24 tire fire.

The Royals are hanging in there, and as Kendrys Morales and (hopefully) Alex Gordon heat up, they should be in position to at least grab a Wild Card slot. However, even that might not be possible with the production they are currently getting from the rotation, let alone another AL Central title.

The Royals are going to need at least one more stable starter to add to Danny Duffy and Ian Kennedy, and Volquez fits the bill.

Next: Ian Kennedy